by Simon Heale at Chelsea Natural Health Clinic, 208 Fulham Road, Sw10.
As a hypnotherapist and performance coach I see people who are wanting to make changes in their lives. These can range from getting a better work-life balance, dealing with debilitating anxiety and stress, to changing habitual behaviours such as smoking and of course the area of weight loss.
This post is an insight into a method of eating that is so simple and yet can be so effective in developing our awareness of food and ourselves.
Now I should add here that of course there are many factors surrounding food consumption and weight and I am by no means suggesting that this method is superior or more effective than any other kind of intervention and approach, however, I am looking to encourage this approach to be a part of all of our daily routines.
The method is…..eating slowly. Nothing more. It is in fact also known as mindful eating, that of bringing your awareness to each mouthful and enjoying the tastes and flavours that you are experiencing…..but slowly.
By eating slowly, by being more aware of your experiences there is more opportunity to draw attention to your unconscious behaviours. You are more likely to make the unconscious conscious. It is here that change can happen: you are more able to make clearer choices and where food is concerned, they will be: do I eat this or that, do I eat any more or not.
By taking the foot off the gas a little, by becoming more aware of what we are doing, thinking and feeling, we give ourselves the space in which to consider. To act with clarity rather than from auto-pilot.
This is Mindfulness. Deliberate, moment to moment awareness of ourselves. Coming off auto-pilot, as best we can.
In my therapeutic sessions I use a combination of hypnotherapy, coaching and mindfulness to create this considered space. To enable anyone to change what isn’t working for them without stress, anxiety or any pressure to achieve.
The article attached to this is about the mindfulness practice: the raisin exercise. It is a very simple way of drawing attention to how we may approach, in this instance, food, but may equally apply to other areas of our lives.
See what you think of the article, and be aware of your responses to it, if you are able to distinguish your thoughts from your feelings, you are being mindful.
The responses beneath the article are of special interest too, not least because of the reaction it stirs up in certain individuals, almost as if they are being challenged or threatened in some way. The ‘I haven’t got time to sit and stare at my food’ response and the ‘ stop staring/eating and get on with work’ jibe gets to the heart of what the article is highlighting: that we can perhaps afford to ‘stop and smell the roses once in a while’, to slow down perhaps, replenish our stores before our next adventure or task.
This can be a breath, a minute of mindful awareness, walking mindfully, working mindfully and indeed, eating with a greater mindful awareness.
The problem of any article about mindfulness is that it is written and then read. Mindfulness can only be experienced: by doing.
If you are interested in doing something about something, or want more information about dealing with any unwanted habits such as mindless eating, to lose weight or to re-gain control over your behaviour, then please get in touch: either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07932 393972
You can also book an appointment on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Initial appointments are 90 minutes, 60 minutes thereafter.
I have been a practicing Hypnotherapist since 2000, specialising in anxiety and stress related issues, performance coaching, hypnosis and childbirth and habit control.
I have been practicing mindfulness formally for over a year and will be taking my practitioner training later this year.